The dumbing down of our lives

The dumbing down of our lives

When I was a kid I thought the world was a pretty amazing place. I had a happy childhood for the most part (save for a few bullies that made my life miserable, but I digress) with memories like Morry the Good Humor Ice Cream man giving us rides around the neighborhood, watching The Honeymooners with my dad, listening to "A Hard Day's Night" on our phonograph and other simple memories from a much simpler time.

I rode my bike everywhere, played outside all summer. Music was a big part of my life with favorite songs like "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" from The Cowsills and anything from The Monkees. As I got older my favorite TV show was "Happy Days" and I planned my work schedule at McDonalds to have off on Tuesday nights to watch it. There were other shows I loved like "Petticoat Junction", "Leave it to Beaver" and "Gilligan's Island".

Yes, there was Woodstock and the 60's sex, drugs and rock and roll yet society had not completely fallen into the hands of stupidity. But that was then and wow, this is now. And I am worried as hell about what the future holds if things continue to get worse. What in the world will life be like for our kids; for our grandkids? What has happened to us?

Once upon a time, song lyrics were sweet. You could almost picture a couple skipping down the street holding hands. Just think of a few old songs, maybe like Herman's Hermits "Something Good". Went like this: "Woke up this morning feeling fine, there's someone special on my mind. Last night I met a new girl in the neighborhood; something tells me I'm into something good". Awww, so sweet you could get a cavity listening to it. But it was innocent. Now? Today that song might go something like this: "Got up  dis morning, I's  feelin' like shit, last night I hit it wit a ho dat was lit. She was jus another skank from my brutha's hood, but I can tell you man, dat ho, she was good".

Once upon a time we had show's like Dick Van Dyke where twin beds were customary for TV standards. Married couples were not allowed to be televised in the same bed. Now, the only twin beds we see on TV are those that the stellar stars of Jersey Shore are "smooshing"in. For those of you that don't know what that means I bet you can figure it out.  We have gone from June Cleaver and Mrs. Cunningham to Snooki, Sami and J. Woww. From Gilligan and Dobie Gillis to Pauly D and The Situation. The early characters had something to say, to teach. Hopefully the only thing the cast of Jersey Shore can teach is how not to behave.

Once upon a time there were games that kids played that didn't involve electronics. There were games like Tag, Red Rover and Red Light, Green Light. We used our imaginations to build forts; play house. Okay, so once in awhile we'd make Ken and Barbie "do it" but that was using our imaginations, right? Now we have video games like Bulletstorm and Grand Theft Auto to show kids how to be as violent as possible. We couldn't just let tagging someone be as violent as it could get.

Once upon a time we had dress codes. When I was in 7th grade we couldn't wait for "pants day", the once a semester opportunity to wear jeans. There were no thongs hanging out of our low cut, skin tight jeans, no boobs hanging out of low cut tops. Boys wore belts. They didn't have pants around their knees. There were words like "groovy"  and "neato". We didn't use the word "like" after every single other like word like we like uttered.

I could go on and on yet I think you are starting to get the picture. I feel as though the older I get, the world is becoming a pretty classless place.

And once upon a time there were honest politicians.....

 

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  • I agree with you 100%. I don't even like being downtown anymore and at one time that was a special treat. Except for people who work for businesses which still have dress codes, most of the people look like bums, especially all of those young college students who now overrun everything since they have all of those dorms in the loop.

  • In reply to ccassello:

    I remember as a kid when we would go downtown my mom would dress us up in party dresses and patent leather shoes! It was quite an event! Thanks for responding!

  • Thank you for writing this today as it is bound to be appreciated by the millions who have taken note of the same reality as you have! Now you know how our grandparents felt about our generation Teppi .... Chuckle!

    Do not despair this too will pass .... I have children nearing their forties who were not "Classless" though they lived lives quite different from this old coot and his missus .... They turned out okay [Detective & a Teacher]... now they have children of their own to be concerned about ... and as we watch the years slide by ... the times and styles change .... but peoples actions are pretty much the same .... Media personalities and pop culture are not a 'real' reflection of who we are ... I was not "The Beaver" ... and my beloved wife was not "Shelly Fabares" ... we and our peer group did not live the idealized lives [though we oft aspired to] …Our reality was much ‘rougher’ than those all too smooth and affluent settings portrayed for consumption ….

    I will grant you that there is currently a “Dumbing Down” of our lives and I would like to blame fools like Fox media and all the others etc … though I think it is a collective guilt that must be shared ….

    What we see happening to youth comes from neglect of parenting, neglect of school budgets, neglect of … the list is long … most of it is attributable to economics and a culture that saw the necessity for two incomes to stay ‘even’ with the American dream {yes poverty does contribute to our collective ignorance} … Children are a product of home environment to the largest percentage, peer group and media influences rank much lower … classrooms and teachers are capable at best of trying to correct the worst aspects of what the front three influences have wrought. ---- That is why there is the necessity for a populace that has a well grounded universal public education … one that is free and accessible for all members of society and not influenced by creed. America also needs universal public health care brought into existence and that seems to be a blind spot for many who cannot see beyond their own noses.

    PS: As for politicians telling the truth …. Tricky Dick was not noted for the truth .... nor ... reaching back to my Dad's time - was Warren G. Harding .... Tee Hee ....

  • In those days, there weren't blogs, and certainly not comment boards, wikipedia, or tweets, which I think proves the point made in the headline.

  • In reply to jack:

    Not quite sure how to interpret this??

  • Your article gave me flashbacks! And it made me sad. Will my kids (young adults) look back on their childhood the same way (dirty lyrics and all) because God knows what their children will be watching or listening to!

  • I feel like I've read this before ...

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/somebody-should-do-something-about-all-the-problem,11018/

  • In reply to tomburg:

    Fabulous, loved it! Thanks for sharing - oh so sad but true :(

  • You can't enjoy the Good Humor Ice Cream man because you may have to dodge bullets from gangbangers. There's no Herman's Hermits songs; it's "DO Dat Bytch in Da Butt". The whole culture has become vile, AND THAT IS BY DESIGN, instigated and planned by Anti-Americans. And our fear of political correctness allowed it to happen. There's only one goal for dumbing down the nation; to make it easier to control us. And don't fall back on "well, our parents and grandparents had the same complaints". There is an absolute bottom for a nation, and we're still hurtling towards it, ever closer with each passing year.

  • Just another aging Baby Boomer, whose glory days are done for, complaining about the younger generation.

  • In reply to martin:

    On the contrary, my glory days are far from over, wait til you are aging before you pass judgement and see if your opinions don't MATURE. I love the younger generation, my 2 daughters are 21 and 23 - just not the vulgarity of a lot of it. I didn't like vulgar when I was 20 and I don't like it now. Nuff said.

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